Titan Attacks is a modern take on Taito's classic arcade game Space Invaders. It succeeds in modernizing the classic and is great fun for old school arcade junkies.
There is no back story in Titan Attacks. Who has time for that when there are aliens to shoot? The game looks great. Backgrounds are dark so projectiles and enemies pop off the screen. The music is arcade-like and changes frequently so it never gets repetitive. Sound effects stand out over the music in a useful way as players will learn which sounds correspond to which events. However, after players unlock and use missiles, they tend to be a bit too loud and drown out other sounds. Similar problems exist with the graphics in that it's hard to distinguish on-screen objects when the action gets hectic. When this happens, players will instinctively move out of harm's way until the action simmers down a bit. There are options to emulate old school graphics such as graphical glitches and making the game appear as if it's being played on a cathode ray tube television. Of course these can always be disabled if you want.
The controls are almost as simple as Space Invaders. Players can move left and right while shooting up at the alien forces above. If you manage to survive without getting hit for a while then your score multiplier increases with a cap of 9. As soon as you get hit, it resets. Therefore, the longer you don't get hit, the more your score will grow. Sometimes a flying saucer will fly by at the top of the stage. When shot, these drop various items such as money, points, and temporary power-ups. Players can also fire a smart bomb which damages all of the on-screen enemies. These are limited and players can only stock 3 at a time. The gameplay is tight and a heck of a lot of fun.
Besides mindlessly shooting, players can also capture aliens and perform skill shots. Sometimes when alien ships are destroyed, the alien inside tries to escape. If it reaches the bottom of the screen then you lose money but you gain money if you manage to collect it. You can also shoot the alien with no penalty before the little guy lands, but you will not get any money. Ships usually explode when destroyed but sometimes they fall down. When this happens, players can shoot the wreckage before it reaches the ground to perform a skill shot and earn extra points. These mechanics add variety to the gameplay as you never know what will happen next.
Titan Attacks can only be played in one mode. In this mode, players will battle aliens through 100 quick and increasingly challenging waves. Different types of enemies will work together to ensure the player's demise. As progress is made it becomes easier to detect these different enemy types and be able to take them out effectively. A boss battle will occur every 20th wave and the next set of 20 waves is unlocked if you're successful in defeating it. These boss fights are pretty intense as they fly around the screen and fire many different kinds of weaponry. Every once in a while a bonus challenge will appear that is reminiscent of Galaga's similar challenge stages. Like Galaga, players must use precision to take out as many enemies as they can. These enemies take the form of flying saucers which enter and leave the screen quickly. All waves feel fresh and unique and boss fights and challenges keep players on their toes.
Players can earn money as they play and use it to level up their spacecraft after each wave. You can choose to buy shields (which act as hit points), smart bombs, or make some permanent improvements such as adding an arsenal of weapons and increasing the amount of bullets you can fire at once. Improving your craft is a necessity as waves get very challenging as the game progresses. By the end of the game it feels very rewarding to look at how powerful you've become since the beginning.
After completing all 100 waves, you are taken back to the beginning of the game which now starts at wave 101. All purchased improvements carry over for consecutive playthroughs. After playing the second playthrough for a short while, the game may overstay its welcome. There isn't much to do at this point other than climb the leaderboards. It's fairly easy to max out your score to join the club at the top of the leaderboard but it's also very time consuming. Therefore, most gamers will probably be done with Titan Attacks shortly after they finish the main game.
Titan Attacks is a solid take on a classic arcade game that is a blast to play. If you're looking for longevity then maybe you should give this game a pass. But, if you're looking for some quick arcade shooting fun then this game is a must buy.
- + Simple, solid, and fun gameplay
- + 100 waves filled with frantic fun, challenging bonus stages, and intense boss fights
- + Level up system is rewarding
- - Only one mode
- - Not much to do after finishing the game
- - It's hard to distinguish objects when the action gets too hectic